Wings Unseen
To end a civil war, Lansera's King Turyn relinquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as compatible as oil and water.When Vesperi, a Meduan noblewoman, kills a Lanserim spy with a lick of her silver flame, she hopes the powerful display of magic will convince her father to name her as his heir. She doesn't know the act will draw the eye of the tyrannical Guj, Medua's leader, or that the spy was the brother of Serrafina Gavenstone, the fiancee of Turyn's grandson, Prince Janto. As Janto sets out for an annual competition on the mysterious island of Braven, Serra accepts an invitation to study with the religious Brotherhood, hoping for somewhere to grieve her brother's murder in peace. What she finds instead is a horror that threatens both countries, devouring all living things and leaving husks of skin in its wake.To defeat it, Janto and Serra must learn to work together with the only person who possesses the magic that can: the beautiful Vesperi, whom no one knows murdered Serra's brother. An ultimate rejection plunges Vesperi forward toward their shared destiny, with the powerful Guj on her heels and the menacing beating of unseen wings all about.Readers of all ages will enjoy Wings Unseen, Rebecca Gomez Farrell's first full-length novel. It is a fully-imagined epic fantasy with an unforgettable cast of characters.

Wings Unseen Details

TitleWings Unseen
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 22nd, 2017
PublisherMeerkat Press, LLC
ISBN-139781946154002
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Did Not Finish, Magic

Wings Unseen Review

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Meerkat Press, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Well, I've debated my review for about a week. To say I was underwhelmed may be a bit strident, but I'm still left with a flat feeling. While I'm certainly glad I read Wings, I was never excited about any plot twist. The opening of the book threw me for a loop because it reads like a third chapter. I had no idea about whom I was reading. There was just no preparat Many thanks to Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Meerkat Press, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Well, I've debated my review for about a week. To say I was underwhelmed may be a bit strident, but I'm still left with a flat feeling. While I'm certainly glad I read Wings, I was never excited about any plot twist. The opening of the book threw me for a loop because it reads like a third chapter. I had no idea about whom I was reading. There was just no preparation. I had to start over three times before I firmly had my bearings. Vesperi was meant to be a despicable creature but came across as grumpy and misunderstood most of the time. Once I finally got into the groove of the pattern of the chapters there was suddenly a spanner thrown in the works when a fourth cretin of a religious order was introduced and completely threw off my flow. Why did it take half of the book for this evil doer to come along? Shouldn't he have maybe either had a few earlier chapters or at least been integral in the previous storyline? As it is it seems like the author decided just then where the book needed to go and wrote him in. It wasn't a smooth transition. The book has some good points: the buzzing flesheaters, the squabbling kingdoms of goodness and vice, the "three heads". It was interesting. I just wasn't blown away. Summer Fantasy Fest read #18
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Meerkat Press for the ARC! Overall a very strong and ambitious story with a beautiful cover of our three-winged bird!At the heart of the novel is a land torn apart decades earlier by war and powerful, selfish leaders. This left Lansera and Medua, two areas divided by poverty, culture and religious beliefs where "ways of life were as compatible as oil and water." From these come our three main characters: a young prince of great privilege, Janto, must learn how to put his people firs Thank you to Meerkat Press for the ARC! Overall a very strong and ambitious story with a beautiful cover of our three-winged bird!At the heart of the novel is a land torn apart decades earlier by war and powerful, selfish leaders. This left Lansera and Medua, two areas divided by poverty, culture and religious beliefs where "ways of life were as compatible as oil and water." From these come our three main characters: a young prince of great privilege, Janto, must learn how to put his people first to become a strong leader. His beautiful fiancé Serra has to face the demons of her past and make the toughest decision of any young adult's life. From the impoverished land of Medua, Vesperi is an unpredictable woman, dangerous, and full of courage. Forced to work as a team to save their friends and family proved to be a huge challenge.The descriptions throughout are vibrant and filled with emotion. Even the minor characters bring life and a bit of humor to the story. This is an epic adventure in a world filled with mysterious creatures and magic! I would definitely be interested in a sequel and recommend this fantasy novel to any fan of Middle Earth! This may only be the beginning...
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  • Nikki (Book Allure)
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy from Meerkat Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Wings Unseen reminds me so much of Falling Kingdoms. We have around 3 main POVs with a few minor ones that are placed in different points in the 2 feuding kingdoms. Vesperi is the daughter of the estate lord in Medua and secretly harbors magical powers. However, she was not named the heir to the land but instead was bequeathed to her weak sickly brother. Janto, the heir to Lansera has gone on a quest to learn mo I received a copy from Meerkat Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Wings Unseen reminds me so much of Falling Kingdoms. We have around 3 main POVs with a few minor ones that are placed in different points in the 2 feuding kingdoms. Vesperi is the daughter of the estate lord in Medua and secretly harbors magical powers. However, she was not named the heir to the land but instead was bequeathed to her weak sickly brother. Janto, the heir to Lansera has gone on a quest to learn more about ruling his future kingdom. Serra, queen-to-be, follows the Order to find out what she has to do to save her kingdom from ruin. Things I did not expect: •The harsh language regarding women. It was very adultlike for a YA book. Words such as "cunt" were frequent in the book. •A kind king????? I'm genuinely shocked nice kings exist•It took so long for these characters to overlap. Normally fantasy books with diff POVs overlap quickly but this took over 100 pages. Despite this, it was still good•Plot centering on individualistic paths•A POV OF A PIGEON. We're in 2017 Wings Unseen is in 2057. Each character was unique in their own way and I grew to love them! Vesperi is wild and unruly but it's the perfect balance to Serra's calm and poised. Even with a patriarchal society, Vesperi and Serra managed to overcome it in their own ways. Janto was an unconventional male character, not asserting his masculinity. I couldn't feel him dripping testosterone yet respected him as a character. As the book passed I was more partial to Vesperi and found Serra to be rather annoying. I want this book to be one that doesn't pit women against each other given that the society already has a low view of them. The other problem I had with this book was that my ship was not sailing. Please just give me what I want. No more love triangles, PLEASE. I enjoyed the writing of Farrell The places were vivid enough that I was able to picture myself there with them. Each action was written to such precision that it felt like a well-directed movie in my head, leaving little for me to fill in. And that's great! For a high fantasy book, the author's ability to describe is essential and Farrell excelled at it.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    I received an arc copy of Wings Unseen from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Rating: 2.5 stars The first thing that caught my eye about Wings Unseen was the cover. It was beautiful and enchanting. Then I read the description and I was even more drawn in.Within the first few chapters, I already had a favorite character. Vesperi. I know Vesperi is supposed to be despicable but I loved her from the start. I mean a head strong women trying to make her way in a terrible society but also har I received an arc copy of Wings Unseen from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Rating: 2.5 stars The first thing that caught my eye about Wings Unseen was the cover. It was beautiful and enchanting. Then I read the description and I was even more drawn in.Within the first few chapters, I already had a favorite character. Vesperi. I know Vesperi is supposed to be despicable but I loved her from the start. I mean a head strong women trying to make her way in a terrible society but also harbors a secret power? Sign me right up. I loved her POV'S. I was disappointed she didn't have that many POV'S in the beginning. I just wanted more of her and I just got Serra which I hate to say but I didn't like her all that much. She eventually grew on me but never topped Vesperi. Janto was also a great character, he had a lot of potential and wasn't a typical testorone filled male. I enjoyed his sections but Vesperi had my attention. Overall, Wings Unseen was a good book but, personally, I didn't like it very much. I feel the world building could have been more enhanced especially in the 2nd half. The plot was interesting but I found myself confused and it took a rather long time for me to get my bearings. It feels as if the story starts right off the bat and you have to fill in a lot of blanks. My interest fluctuated constantly throughout. There was a few times where I was riveted but then other times where I was dragging myself to the next part. In general, I think some polishing could be done but Wings Unseen is good.
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  • Sheila {ShesGoingBookCrazy.com}
    January 1, 1970
    #5 on my TBR for #ARCAugust tag.See this full review along with others on my blog at: shesgoingbookcrazy.comI received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.You know when you start a book, and you don't like the characters, and nothing pulls you into the plot to keep your attention--then that it probably isn't the book for you. This is exactly my experience with Wings Unseen.Being a sucker for great book covers, I naturally picked this up. Seeing a three-h #5 on my TBR for #ARCAugust tag.See this full review along with others on my blog at: shesgoingbookcrazy.comI received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.You know when you start a book, and you don't like the characters, and nothing pulls you into the plot to keep your attention--then that it probably isn't the book for you. This is exactly my experience with Wings Unseen.Being a sucker for great book covers, I naturally picked this up. Seeing a three-headed bird beast, in combination with an alluring title, and an action-packed synopsis, I was ready to be swept away into a new fantasy world. As we take a step into the world of the warring nations of Medua and Lansera, one thing is immediately apparent: Vesperi is a not a nice person. Detestable, more like. So detestable, in fact, that I couldn't get the bad taste out of my mouth that she left there. Here's why. She'd always resort to sexual manipulation to get what she wanted. It was in her internal and external machinations, and she was downright crude. Here's a few examples: Too old to make bedding him fun but not man enough to beat her badly. She had more pressing matters to attend to than pondering what advantage untying his breeches might bring. There were more. But I just...don't want to waste my time taking down quotes from a book that I know I won't be finishing.I liked the fact that the book worked from different point-of-views. I'm assuming that a three-headed bird will show up somewhere, somehow. The animal-like-creature-human-things referenced in the first chapter were...curious, to say the least. I really wish I could have had an opportunity to go further into this book, but Vesperi made that impossible for me.Vulgarity: There wasn't any swearing, but derogatory language used specifically towards women.Sexual Content: I believe I missed the memo where it is suddenly deemed as "OK" to use explicit language in YA books. This book definitely crosses some lines for me (examples provided above), including the word, "cock." This is probably another one of those mislabeled "YA books" that should be NA. Violence: Minimal.1 star.A big thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Things I liked:*Different POVs*Uniqueness of the characters *The setting*THE COVERI knew I would like one of the characters, Vesperi a lot from the beginning. She was unique. But besides her, I can't remember any of the characters until I've reached 40% of the book. I was confused by the plot. It took me a very long time to get through.Wings Unseen was a good book, but personally I didn't enjoy it a lot.
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  • Manon
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 Stars*I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.How to summarize this?.........Welcome to Lansera and Medua. These two places used to be one before they were separated, putting the bad people in Medua and the nice ones in Lansera.Veseri lives in Medua. She’s the daughter of Lord Sewyll. As a woman in Medua, she has no rights. She basically belongs to her father and should be spending her days in the kitchen with all the other women.But Vesperi doesn’t like to keep *3.5 Stars*I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.How to summarize this?.........Welcome to Lansera and Medua. These two places used to be one before they were separated, putting the bad people in Medua and the nice ones in Lansera.Veseri lives in Medua. She’s the daughter of Lord Sewyll. As a woman in Medua, she has no rights. She basically belongs to her father and should be spending her days in the kitchen with all the other women.But Vesperi doesn’t like to keep her mouth shut and do what’s expected of her, and her father, to keep her out of his hair gives her “some freedom”. It actually helps that Veseri can reduce someone to ashes with just a wave of her fingers; though no one but her knows it.In Lansera, the prince, Janto, is about to get married to Serra but first, he has to go do his Murat (some kind of weird ritual thing that make boys grow into men I guess?).As she waits for her betrothed to come back from his Murat, Serra is asked to go to a convent of sorts, where she finds out she has a weird ass destiny.Our three characters turn out to be linked in more ways than one and have to find a way to get along to save the world and shit.I mostly enjoyed this. I had A LOT of trouble getting into it but once I was, I had a great time and flew through the chapters.The characters were well painted and even if it took me some time to get attached to both Serra and Janto, they grew on me.At first, I was living for the Vesperi chapters who I immediately fell for. But I found them to be too rare and short.There were a couple clichés but they didn’t really bother me.What did bother me was that the romance was central to the story but seemed rushed; like it was just an afterthought. I didn’t really feel what the characters were supposed to feel…All in all, a classic-ish story set in an interesting but enraging world with loveable characters.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: Netgalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.The first few chapters were really a struggle to get through, but once I got about 20% of the way into the book, the strength of the plot and characters won me over. There are some obnoxious things about Wings Unseen -- over-the-top unnecessary details, cliche divisions between (literally) a "good" and an "evil" country -- but the plot is strong and well paced, and once you get past the annoying parts, the book is Disclaimer: Netgalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.The first few chapters were really a struggle to get through, but once I got about 20% of the way into the book, the strength of the plot and characters won me over. There are some obnoxious things about Wings Unseen -- over-the-top unnecessary details, cliche divisions between (literally) a "good" and an "evil" country -- but the plot is strong and well paced, and once you get past the annoying parts, the book is quite the page turner.The good: It was good enough that despite what I saw as major flaws, I finished it! And not "slogged to the end because I hate leaving books unfinished" but "read to the end because I wanted to find out what would happen"! I won't give too much away, but once you get past the distractions, there is a really compelling story. The three main characters are well developed, and the supporting characters are interesting in their own right (although there are WAY too many of them). The plot picks up around a third of the way through the book, and it ends up being quite the page turner. The bad: The worldbuilding was just... over the top. Please, please, please stop making up new words for things if they're not relevant to the plot (kratom wood? tekberries? some sort of bitey fish that might be purple?). The level of detail ended up distracting from the plot, and I honestly almost stopped reading the book in the first few chapters because I found it off putting. BUT... I kept reading. And it was worth it. Also annoying: the idea of a "good" (Lanserre) and an "evil" (Medua) nation is just too cliche. It's not realistic, and it made parts of the plot really flat. I can understand one nation thinking they're good, and the other is bad, but the book plays it as if they actually are. Characters from the "evil" country and cruel and their culture is insane/unsustainable, and even the "good" characters from there have to fight against their nature. I just didn't buy that.Overall: Honestly, this book would be a 3.5 star rating from me, but since it's not, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and go with 4. I would have loved-loved-loved this book if there had been fewer extraneous details and if some of the overarching themes were less stereotypical, but when it comes down to it -- I finished the book in three days, and if there was a sequel, I'd probably buy it. So, I would recommend it ... just know that the first few chapters are painful.
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  • Jeffe Kennedy
    January 1, 1970
    Wings Unseen is an enthralling female-driven fantasy debut. The world, magic system, and terrific characters – with two complex, multi-layered heroines along with the male protagonist – drew me in and kept me rapt. The romantic set-up goes sideways in a delightful way, satisfying me entirely. The characters truly grow and change over the course of their epic quest, including a heroine who begins in a dark place and rises above it. An initially unlikable heroine, Vesperi is deftly handled and won Wings Unseen is an enthralling female-driven fantasy debut. The world, magic system, and terrific characters – with two complex, multi-layered heroines along with the male protagonist – drew me in and kept me rapt. The romantic set-up goes sideways in a delightful way, satisfying me entirely. The characters truly grow and change over the course of their epic quest, including a heroine who begins in a dark place and rises above it. An initially unlikable heroine, Vesperi is deftly handled and won a place as my favorite character. Compelling, entertaining, and enlightening, Wings Unseen is a fantastic read!
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  • J. Julien
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.This novel is most certainly an adventure, trial/combat, novel that feels very much like a Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones type of story. Right away, you get swept into this world with many characters that are sometimes hard to keep track of. Some have similar names, making it even more difficult to remember who is related to who and who is the enemy, but after awhile it does begin to focus solely on a few main characters. The I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.This novel is most certainly an adventure, trial/combat, novel that feels very much like a Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones type of story. Right away, you get swept into this world with many characters that are sometimes hard to keep track of. Some have similar names, making it even more difficult to remember who is related to who and who is the enemy, but after awhile it does begin to focus solely on a few main characters. There are a few chapters with what I like to call "Random" characters or stories that could have been left out as I felt there wasn't a good enough reason to introduce a character and tell a chapter from their perspective and then kill them off or never hear from them again. I will say, even though Rebecca switches characters with each chapter, I did like how she added their crest or icon to help remind us who they were or what family they were from. The world building is not bad in this novel. I had a hard time keeping up with time jumps or lapses as they traveled or how far away places were. I will say, that the author commented on one of my posts about her book and said there would be a map in the final edition, which YAY, that is exactly what it needs to help the reader follow along. Bonus points for that addition to the finalized copy!!Overall, the story wasn't bad, although I did find myself getting bored at parts and forcing myself to continue waiting for the climax. The ending moved very quickly, too quickly for my liking, and it felt a little unrealistic at how the three were thrown into this prophecy and excelled at it without ever knowing they had those type of skills or abilities? It took one of the main characters the entire novel to understand his role in the whole thing when a majority of the book had been focused on him and his namesake. Just seemed odd he didn't question his role until the very last moment and he had like an "Oh, I see" moment.I think the whole concept of this story is fantastic. I love the ideas and relationships that were put into the book and intertwined within the cities/towns/kingdoms. I would have liked the epilogue to bring closure to the other two main characters as well instead of only a tidbit of one that I really didn't feel needed to be rounded out in the end. Seeing as one is the prince, it would have been nice to know what happened to him and the other female character. Just a thought.But, I would still recommend this to someone who enjoys a good adventure novel, especially those who enjoy LOTR and GOT type reads. It was fun story. (I hope they caught some of the grammatical errors or repetition of phrases on their last round of edits...! I wish I had kept track of exactly where they were because there were many times words would get repeated "I should have should gone with.." kind of things scattered throughout where removing one extra word would have made it flow more smoothly.)
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  • Chloe
    January 1, 1970
    ''The Brothers had only known what could be, not what would be" - Rebecca Gomez Farrell I think this has been one of my favourite books so far, this year. It had such a lovely blend of amazing characters, intriguing world building and a strong plot. It was a dense read, it wasn’t even 400 pages yet it took me over a week but I did enjoy it. I only had the smallest of issues with certain aspects of the books, one of which I am going to start with because it did follow me throughout the rest of th ''The Brothers had only known what could be, not what would be" - Rebecca Gomez Farrell I think this has been one of my favourite books so far, this year. It had such a lovely blend of amazing characters, intriguing world building and a strong plot. It was a dense read, it wasn’t even 400 pages yet it took me over a week but I did enjoy it. I only had the smallest of issues with certain aspects of the books, one of which I am going to start with because it did follow me throughout the rest of the novel. Please, Rebecca Gomez Farrell, show me a map of this wonderful and diverse world that you have created! Later in the book I did start to understand the general area of some of the major lands but it still would have helped at the beginning when we are being introduced to so many characters from many different and interesting lands. Along this same sort of line, there seemed to be a weird thing in this book where Farrell would write the name of a fantasy creature and then give no explanation or relevance, it just seemed very peculiar and unnecessary. Right from the beginning of this book I loved all our leading trio; Vesperi, Janto and Serra were all such well-rounded and three-dimensional characters with all had their own arc’s and this was all accomplished while never slowing the pace of the plot. I just loved hanging out with them to be honest and the fact they all had their little worlds before coming together just made me become more attached to them before the climax of the plot. I think this was also because the side characters in this book were incredibly strong too, I’ve looked back and there isn’t one that I haven’t loved, they were all fun and well-rounded and I cared when (view spoiler)[ any of them got hurt or died (hide spoiler)].When it came to this triad I enjoyed how equal they all were within the plot, they all needed one another to complete the quest they had set out for. The plot really was one of my favourite aspects. I loved what they were fighting and how they manifested, I thought it was such a great idea and gave some real context as to why the people of Lansera have become like they are. I also liked how the idea of Gods and fate was handled in this book too, although I would have liked more explanation in to the God Wars that was mentioned in the book. Didn’t like the beginning of the love triangle and I wasn’t a fan of either of the romances that became canon in the end – I’m not a big fan of fate being the defining nature of romances and I just never felt that there was any chemistry between Vesperi and Janto, it was just he had a sexy dream about her and then they were in love? Whereas he and Serra has this long build up friendship and established relationship, I just felt like there didn’t need to be a romance and I really didn’t like that the epilogue chapter, from Serra, was about her getting in Lorne’s pants? Like this whole book has been about friendships and the power of fate and it ends with Serra trying to get her leg over with a man she has just met? No thank you. Although I’m not usually a fan of fantasy sexism, I saw why it was used in this book because it was, in fact, not seen as the norm by the larger population of the people in this fantasy world and was used by a corrupt religious order to subdue and control his people (view spoiler)[and I really enjoyed that because in the end this way of thinking is the Guj's downfall. (hide spoiler)]So, while I did have little niggles throughout this book it was never even close enough to make me want to stop, I could have lived in this world and with our three main characters and their friends for longer and seen more of their creature killing, ‘I’m taking fate into my own hands’ road trip.I received my ARC from Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Meerkat Press, and Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    The description of this book was really intriguing. General plot can be found in description of the book; I don't need to hash it out here. What I found extremely frustrating was the lack of world building, which stood out more in the first half than the second. Taking a bunch of made-up names for creatures and countries without really giving descriptions of them is confusing and frustrating. Especially to have regular things like butter and apricots thrown in. It's sort of like starting to watc The description of this book was really intriguing. General plot can be found in description of the book; I don't need to hash it out here. What I found extremely frustrating was the lack of world building, which stood out more in the first half than the second. Taking a bunch of made-up names for creatures and countries without really giving descriptions of them is confusing and frustrating. Especially to have regular things like butter and apricots thrown in. It's sort of like starting to watch Game of Thrones in Season 3 without having seen the first two seasons, but at least there you have visuals to guide you. It would help a lot if there were a map. But, on the plus side, once I started to keep the characters straight, it is a good, compelling story, and it did keep me reading to the end. I appreciate the fact it wasn't a cliffhanger ending very much. The ending may have been a little easy, but the characters went through a lot. I really liked that the characters grew as the book progressed. I'm normally not very interested in religion as an agent of change (although it really could be argued that the religion was really a means of better introspection in the grand scheme of ones place in the world). I was genuinely surprised by one of the characters whose role seemed uncertain. I did like Enjoin and the concept of different "planes" of existence. The thing that really bothered me the most was the lack of world building, but I think by the second half I just paid attention to the characters and didn't let it get to me as much. Early Reviewers ARC copy from publisher.
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  • Laura Martinez
    January 1, 1970
    I decided to get a copy of this book by seeing its book cover and reading the description. I found it to be very intriguing and once I was able to remember the characters I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed how the characters in this book grew. There is a lot that happens to these characters throughout the book but it was certainly a page turner! I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
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  • Meerkat Press
    January 1, 1970
    Early Reviewers, this book is available for instant access on NetGalley thru August! https://s2.netgalley.com/catalog/book...
  • Esther (Queen of Fantasy)
    January 1, 1970
    Before I start: a huge thank you to Netgalley for providing me this digital ARC!! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be one of the first people to read a book!!!Sooooo I HATE negative reviews. I hate writing them, even if I do find reading them interesting.CAN I JUST HIDE BEHIND THAT ROCK INSTEAD OF TELLING THIS AUTHOR ALL THE WAYS THEIR BOOK DID NOT AGREE WITH ME.KAY BYE.Um so first of all: the good!!THAT COVER MAN. Look how pretty and alluring it is. It gives me the feeling of a dark, sta Before I start: a huge thank you to Netgalley for providing me this digital ARC!! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be one of the first people to read a book!!!Sooooo I HATE negative reviews. I hate writing them, even if I do find reading them interesting.CAN I JUST HIDE BEHIND THAT ROCK INSTEAD OF TELLING THIS AUTHOR ALL THE WAYS THEIR BOOK DID NOT AGREE WITH ME.KAY BYE.Um so first of all: the good!!THAT COVER MAN. Look how pretty and alluring it is. It gives me the feeling of a dark, stabby book and I like me some stabby books that are dark.**What else is new.So poor, unsuspecting me decided to ask for it on Netgalley and YYAY I was so excited to get approved.Then I started reading.Since it's an e-ARC, I can show you some of my notes when I first started reading, before I gave up entirely. Be warned that I spent most of this book WTF-ing."The writing is bugging me...""Too many namessssss""Her power has zero explanation or precedence (GENETIC???? OF LEGEND??? WHERE EVEN DID IT COME FROM?!?!?) and seems ridiculous to me""I hate that she's calling men who beat women 'real men'"TRUST ME THERE'S MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM. I stopped trying at like 25% because NO but even in that first quarter there are straight up like 30 notes. All about things that bug me.Thing that bugged me most: The writing. It's trying too hard, and it's all too 'posh'. Like everyone is trying so hard to speak proper and even the commoners are like "Dear me, I cannot fathom that you have so many feathers adorning your cloak, here, let me fetch a pail of water to wash them away"Okay, that didn't happen but that's pretty much what the writing felt like to me the entire time.Second most: The world is SO FREAKING SEXIST. I can deal with sexist worlds. But seriously, if I wake up in the middle of the night and there's a man in my bed and I think I'm about to get raped, I am NOT going to start seducing him???!?!??!!??!?!?!?!?!??!!?!?!??!!??!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?W.T.F.I cannot with this. I just cannot.I felt like there was an entire lack of plot, for way too long and the worldbuilding felt forced and flat and I was just so disappointed and I didn't care about the characters really at all. Vesperi was devoid of feelings and basically all the time she was just having this inner monologue of 'oh if he tries to rape me I'll just seduce him' and 'I must become the heir to my father's house' and Serra just seamed really weak to me. Like. Rubber flailing around weeping and moping and being so very dainty. The only one I liked even a little bit was Janto, but he would see something totally bizarre and out of the ordinary, and once he literally yawned.W.T.F.Okay so this wasn't as mini as I was intending it to be. But I was just so rubbed the wrong way by this and I hate writing negative reviews but I also feel like I should be able to be honest and share my true feelings about a book. In any other case I probably would have DNF'd at about 20%, but I hate DNFing ARCs so here we are.
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  • Greyson Edwards
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. DNFI'm not going to lie I really didn't try that hard with this book. But if a book can't even remotely grab me within the first few chapters then it's just not going to happen. The first chapter was kind of interesting but nothing really attention grabbing. I was basically skimming and that's not a good sign. Even the attempts at building suspense, making the reader question what is happening failed with me. I didn't really care I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. DNFI'm not going to lie I really didn't try that hard with this book. But if a book can't even remotely grab me within the first few chapters then it's just not going to happen. The first chapter was kind of interesting but nothing really attention grabbing. I was basically skimming and that's not a good sign. Even the attempts at building suspense, making the reader question what is happening failed with me. I didn't really care what Serra's brother did to make him a traitor. Chapter two the POV was kind of confusing and it wasn't until the end of the chapter that it was clear who's POV the chapter was being written from, yes it says who under the chapter number but a reader should be able to know who's POV it is without that. Maybe it's my own fault for requesting this arc before I knew more. I mean it's definitely partly at fault at least, but I don't fancy wasting too much time on a book I'm not really interested in.
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  • Krystal
    January 1, 1970
    This author's exceptional first full length novel boasts epic world building, strong character development, brilliantly complicated plot twists, and rich political commentary about environmental factors influencing people at their human core.
  • J.D.
    January 1, 1970
    Rebecca Gomez Farrell takes us into an imaginative world in Wings Unseen, full of mysticism and adventure, and featuring characters we can follow along the journey. Though aimed at young adult readers, this book (like many YA novels) would have appeal for older readers, as well. This is, of course, one of the beauties of the YA genre.I would place this book on the shelf next to Anne Aguirre, Veronica Roth, Christopher Paolini, and Ally Condie. Being a former middle grades English teacher, Wings Rebecca Gomez Farrell takes us into an imaginative world in Wings Unseen, full of mysticism and adventure, and featuring characters we can follow along the journey. Though aimed at young adult readers, this book (like many YA novels) would have appeal for older readers, as well. This is, of course, one of the beauties of the YA genre.I would place this book on the shelf next to Anne Aguirre, Veronica Roth, Christopher Paolini, and Ally Condie. Being a former middle grades English teacher, Wings Unseen would have been on my recommendation list and if any of those former students come knocking, I would not hesitate to tell them about Wings Unseen.What the author does best, from my reading, is bring this book to a swelling apex, and then leave us with just enough to ensure that there can be another entry. This hint at future events does not detract from the book itself in the way that some other titles do. Farrell also proves more than capable of inventing her own place for us to visit and writes in adeptly about these this new place in the way that accomplished science fiction writers can.If you are looking for something in the avenue of fantasy and young adult literature, with an insatiable readability, I would suggest this book for you.My review was based on an advance copy.
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  • CJ
    January 1, 1970
    Firstly, I would like to thank Meerkat Press, the IBPA, and Rebecca Gomez Farrel for sending me this book for review. That in no way influences my review, as I liked some aspects and disliked others, and what follows is an honest review of this novel. Wings Unseen follows the stories of three young characters, Vesperi, Janto, and Serra, as they fight against a threatening evil that aims to ravage their lands. They are from different sides of the same region, yet their fates bring them together o Firstly, I would like to thank Meerkat Press, the IBPA, and Rebecca Gomez Farrel for sending me this book for review. That in no way influences my review, as I liked some aspects and disliked others, and what follows is an honest review of this novel. Wings Unseen follows the stories of three young characters, Vesperi, Janto, and Serra, as they fight against a threatening evil that aims to ravage their lands. They are from different sides of the same region, yet their fates bring them together on a journey none of them ever expected they would embark on, much less with each other. Vesperi, the daughter of an enemy lord with a dangerous magic at her fingertips, Janto, the young and heroic prince, and Serra, the innocent and hopeful princess; are the three young heroes who each have their role to play in this epic fantasy. Only together might they stand a chance of saving their world from its own destruction. • Vesperi: She is a fiercely independent female character who uses her wiles and cunning to navigate the archaic and cruel society in which she grew up. Sign me right up! Despite coming off as a selfish and heartless loathly lady at first, Vesperi’s character develops and unfolds so well that you can’t help but root for her as her story progresses.• The dynamic between Vesperi, Janto, and Serra: Despite the weird love triangle that pops up, the dynamic between these three is really well done. We can sense the unease and the tension from the way they speak to each other, their body language, and the things they don’t say. The relationships were interesting to watch develop. #Vespantoforever!• The writing / description: I thought the way RGF let the story unfurl like it was happening in the moment was very immersive and entertaining. It also made the characters feel more real and kept the pace up throughout most of the story. • Um, a pigeon chapter?! Yes, please! I don’t even have words to describe how much I loved the randomness of this chapter. It left me in a puddle of confused giggles.• The language (sometimes): Now I’m a strong supporter of colorful language, but some of the language (i.e. profanity) used in the novel was a little bit too colorful for me personally. I’m assuming it was used to highlight the stark difference between the two societies (one being righteous and good, the other being cruel and evil), but sometimes it was just a little too much for me. Additionally, there were too many invented words with barely any contextual meaning, so that was a bit annoying at parts. • The societies / world: It was glaringly obvious from very early on that we had a “good society versus bad society” situation here, but I felt as though there was so much focus on making blatantly clear that one society was awful and the other was lovely, that there was barely any description or detail about the world itself. The only name and place I could remember was “Lansera”, and that’s because it was the most repeated one. So, there were a lot of places mentioned and I had no idea where or what most of them were while I was reading.• Some of the social problems brought up: So, there’s a lot going on in terms of social issues and justice in this book, which I love. However, a lot of the big issues that were brought up as simply “part of Meduan society” (i.e. the bad guys), such as rape, sexism, physical abuse, etc., were left completely untouched. I’m not really sure what I wanted with them, maybe one of the women to jump up and say “That’s wrong! Sexism is bad! Stop doing that or I’ll kick you in the face!” or something along those lines. I just felt like these issues were thrown in and left to stagnate, because they kept coming to mind every time I encountered a Meduan.• The threat and the ending: The ending felt a bit rushed to me, like tying up loose ends as quickly as possible, although I was happy with the way things ended. As with any book, there are things we love and things we hate. While I didn’t really hate anything other than the Meduans in this book, I did have some issues with it along the way. The story was captivating and maintained a good pace, but I guess the language used with regards to women throughout the novel was just too much sometimes and it ruined the linguistic aspect of the book for me, personally. I give this book a hearty 3.25★s, because the characters (and the pigeon chapter!) gave it that extra edge. If you’re a fan of high fantasy and stories of good triumphing over evil, then I would definitely recommend this book!
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  • Wynter Dorr
    January 1, 1970
    The Good: The character building was excellent. Every character was fully developed and interesting, especially the main three. And for me, that’s the most important thing about a book. The Bad: The love triangle. I’m not a fan of love triangles and while this one was far from the worst I’ve ever read, it didn’t really seem necessary to the plot either. Overall, it doesn’t really hurt the story either, so as far as complaints go, it’s a pretty minor one. My big complaint is that, at times, I fou The Good: The character building was excellent. Every character was fully developed and interesting, especially the main three. And for me, that’s the most important thing about a book. The Bad: The love triangle. I’m not a fan of love triangles and while this one was far from the worst I’ve ever read, it didn’t really seem necessary to the plot either. Overall, it doesn’t really hurt the story either, so as far as complaints go, it’s a pretty minor one. My big complaint is that, at times, I found the world to be a bit confusing. I felt like I learned more about the world of Wings Unseen from the book description than I did from the first few chapters of the book itself, which made it hard to really understand the world and immerse myself in it. The Verdict: Overall, this is a good read and I would recommend it with the warning that it’s not a quick or easy read, but definitely worth it for fantasy fans.
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  • Lisaswestcoastreads
    January 1, 1970
    Free copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.It took me a couple of reads to get into the start of the book but once I did the story flowed. I enjoyed the writing of this epic fantasy and the characters, I did find some parts of the book more not YA more new adult but on the whole a fantastic book.
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  • Adam M
    January 1, 1970
    This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.I believe this is intended for a YA audience and they may have enjoyed certain parts of this book more than I did. There were large parts of this book that I liked and some interesting ideas, like how magic and faith worked in the two different societies. However, there were times when the audience was left to interpret information without enough context. In most Fantasy or Sci Fi books I expect to have to fill in some of the edges for mys This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.I believe this is intended for a YA audience and they may have enjoyed certain parts of this book more than I did. There were large parts of this book that I liked and some interesting ideas, like how magic and faith worked in the two different societies. However, there were times when the audience was left to interpret information without enough context. In most Fantasy or Sci Fi books I expect to have to fill in some of the edges for myself, but here the world felt a little thin in places. The character development also felt a little inconsistent at times. I understand that the characters were all developing as people, but there was some pretty abrupt shifts that didn't always feel earned. Not everyone really got the redemption they needed for me to "like" them as the story progressed. Overall, it is an interesting story and has a specific voice. I can see where this story could easily continue in another installment and I would certainly read that book as well. My only hope at that point would be that we get some more specifics for the world itself. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.
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  • ~ Althea ~
    January 1, 1970
    // Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review //
  • Hannah (Sakurahan or ForeverBooks18)
    January 1, 1970
    DNF! It was so slow and didn't gather any pace. It just wasn't the book for me :(.
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Wings Unseen drew me in with an interesting blurb and attractive cover (I'm all about the cover love). Warring nations, magic and the promise of some badass characters is a sure fire win for me. But unfortunately I don't think the story quite matched up to the blurb. The first few chapters were really confusing, and I couldn't keep track of all the characters and their names. I think this was down in part because of I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Wings Unseen drew me in with an interesting blurb and attractive cover (I'm all about the cover love). Warring nations, magic and the promise of some badass characters is a sure fire win for me. But unfortunately I don't think the story quite matched up to the blurb. The first few chapters were really confusing, and I couldn't keep track of all the characters and their names. I think this was down in part because of the chopping between so many characters for each chapter. If we'd stayed with one character for more than one chapter I probably wouldn't have felt so disorientated at the beginning. I enjoyed the magic, but felt the world building was a bit lacking and again confusing. There was little description describing the politics of the lands and about the different cultures/races. I wanted to know more about the people populating these lands. Vesperi was my favourite character, but even she came across as a little bit more sullen and bad tempered than badass. All together, a good concept that falls flat a little in execution.
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  • Jessica Creason
    January 1, 1970
    I've been watching a lot of Game of Thrones, and I assume the author does as well (or has read the books, which I, regrettably, have not done yet). A couple of the names are similar (i.e. Braven/Bravos and Lanisters/Lanserim).The author might have been inspired by GoT, but this book was definitely much different than GoT. You can tell that there was some inspiration, from a few names and places, and some of the settings in the book sound similar. In fact, since I just recently binge watched the I've been watching a lot of Game of Thrones, and I assume the author does as well (or has read the books, which I, regrettably, have not done yet). A couple of the names are similar (i.e. Braven/Bravos and Lanisters/Lanserim).The author might have been inspired by GoT, but this book was definitely much different than GoT. You can tell that there was some inspiration, from a few names and places, and some of the settings in the book sound similar. In fact, since I just recently binge watched the entire GoT series to get caught up for the new episodes in season 7, there were several places in this book where I thought something entirely different (and usually much worse) was going to happen, because that is something that would have happened in GoT, but the author took it a totally different direction.So, whether you love GoT, hate GoT, or you've never even heard of or seen/read GoT, I still recommend this book!Basically, a civil war between people who value greed and power and those who value honor broke out. To stop the fighting and bloodshed, they signed a truce, giving the Meduans the land over the mountains, and the King rule over the rest of Lansera.The Meduans were the cruel, greedy people, of at least the men among them who strive for power were. They treated women like shit, even their wives and daughters. All women were considered just a way to fulfill urges and have children. Wives typically weren't even allowed to live in the same house with wealthy men and their children, and poor men weren't allows to marry. Most women lived in a separate part of town that men only entered when they have "urges."Across the mountains, a kind king rules with honor and compassion. The king married for love, and the prince is engaged to marry his childhood sweetheart. The two peoples couldn't be any more different.I ♥ed Prince Janto, but my favorite character was Vesperi! I ♥ed her personality and spunk! Even though the way she acts is a product of growing up in such a cruel and violent environment, she doesn't take any crap from anyone, regardless of the consequences. I want to say more and explain a couple of my favorite Vesperi moments, but I don't want to give away any spoilers... You'll just have to read the book! ☺This book was AWESOME! The author did an excellent job at world building and character development. She really let the reader travel into Lanserim and Medua, in order to be able to understand their worlds and culture.I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ this book!!! I even loved the romantic aspect in it, which if you've read pretty much any of my other reviews, you know that I am very critical of. This was not cookie cutter love triangle or stupid crush, though. The author did an excellent job at fitting the love story in in a unique manner, without taking focus away from the rest of the story, and especially without taking focus away from the amazing characters or making them turn into idiots around their silly crushes, like in way too many YA books nowadays.I definitely recommend this book to everyone! The only problem I had with it was that it ended too early, and I wanted to keep reading more! I would love to read a sequel! I loved the ending, but I'm not sure if the author intended to leave an option for or intends to write a sequel.I ♥ed this book and am super impressed with Rebecca Gomez Farrell and will definitely be looking for future books by her!I received a copy of this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Check out this, and many other reviews on my blog: Meet Your New Favorite Book
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  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    Wings Unseen is a debut novel by Rebecca Gomez Farrell about a kingdom that is prophecied to be saved by three heroes: a slayer, a seer, and a weapon. And, as the unlikely characters come together and submit to the pressure of destiny, a rather standard but well-executed plot unfolds.The setting is Lansera, once huge, now split into Medua, which is dying under the tyranny of religious fanatics and oppression the likes of which you only see on the evening news. There are no doubts about morality Wings Unseen is a debut novel by Rebecca Gomez Farrell about a kingdom that is prophecied to be saved by three heroes: a slayer, a seer, and a weapon. And, as the unlikely characters come together and submit to the pressure of destiny, a rather standard but well-executed plot unfolds.The setting is Lansera, once huge, now split into Medua, which is dying under the tyranny of religious fanatics and oppression the likes of which you only see on the evening news. There are no doubts about morality here, Meduans are portrayed as horrible people that treat women like furniture, flay friends for fun (a good alliterative pastime is always key!), and are just evil in general.Lanserim, though, are kind, welcoming, and would never run around and hurt you, unless it's for the prophecy.As strange occurences fill the land three POV characters have to come together: Janto, a gentle prince; Serra, his betrothed; and Vesperi, a mean young woman, whose whole life was miserable, because everybody in Medua is miserable because Medua is evil.This is some pretty typical genre fare with a few Chosen Ones, magical creatures (a silver stag!), and some reaaaally basic look at gender roles (Lanserim treat women the way like people, Meduans treat them like North Korean government treats North Koreans, no deep musings there). But it's written competently, it's not overly long, and the action, while surprisingly sparse, is always fun. It is quite impressive, though, just how easily Farrell does three different, distinct characters.The problems are present as well, though.A) The characters are varied, the POVs are barely so. Once the trio converges it gets increasingly tough to tell who is leading the chapter as everybody gets pretty equal "screen time", so it doesn't really feel vital to give each character separate chapters.B) The fourth POV, which was so brief, inconsequential, and aimless that one would be forgiven to see it slip their mind at the end of the book. See, about halfway through we get 2-3 chapters from the perspective of some villain mook. These do nothing to humanize him, they don't progress the plot in some unique way, and they definitely didn't justify their existence. Trimming those would do wonders for the book, especially considering that his plotline could barely even be classified as such.C) The ending is super rushed. Farrell spends about 20% of the book setting up the world with dozens of new phrases and names, as well as namechecking events that are never expanded on (not that they needed to be). Because of all this worldbuilding the start of the book feels more like a chore. This is remedied rather fast as Janto's Murat begins, but up to that point it's all quite dreary. This leads to the problematic pace at the climax, as the "big battle" takes up less space than Serra's mind-numbing adventures with the Brothers. There is barely any true lead-up as the characters just suddenly go "BTW, let's go visit this place and save the world, yeah?". This robs the climax of some gravitas and makes it seem as if the book was mean to be longer/split into two novels. Either way, unfortunate, as the climax itself is fun, if formulaic.D) The lovestories were a tad unnecessary, honestly. Especially that of Serra, she seemed just fine without it and tacking it on as an epilogue just seems kind of disrespectful to the character.Overall, this is nothing extraordinary, but if you're a fantasy fan itching for a well-executed stand-alone novel that won't take up too much of your time - give this a try!
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  • Sofia Casanova
    January 1, 1970
    You can find this review on my blog.Disclaimer: Netgalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.Actual rating: 1.5/5.Wings Unseen by Rebecca Gomez Farrell sounded quite intriguing. Fantasy is a genre I tend to orbit around and I was keen to be immersed in a new fantasy world. I did enjoy some parts of the book and I though the magic was pretty cool, but overall I was rather disappointed.First off, the aspects of magic and religion were interesting. I enjoyed Farrell’s idea You can find this review on my blog.Disclaimer: Netgalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.Actual rating: 1.5/5.Wings Unseen by Rebecca Gomez Farrell sounded quite intriguing. Fantasy is a genre I tend to orbit around and I was keen to be immersed in a new fantasy world. I did enjoy some parts of the book and I though the magic was pretty cool, but overall I was rather disappointed.First off, the aspects of magic and religion were interesting. I enjoyed Farrell’s ideas of a female god and the forces of magic working together in this society she’s created. However, there was a lack of context or explanation when necessary. I understand that in fantasy we’re usually left to fill in the gaps ourselves, but these gaps were too wide and it was hard for me to comprehend what was happening in some moments. I did enjoy the use of magic towards the end of the book more so.The characters have specific voices, which was great in guiding the story across three perspectives.Wings Unseen features three voices: Janto, the heir to the throne; Serra, the prince’s betrothed; and Vesperi, the daughter of a Meduan lord. I had a lot of hope for these characters considering the trials they were about to face, but there were inconsistencies with their development and I found the short and quick shifts between them to be jarring. Their development was better towards the end though, and I particularly liked reading Serra’s perspective. Also, a couple of the plot directions and changing relationships added an element of surprise I enjoyed.The lack of world-building and descriptions was frustrating.It could be because there was no map, but I found this world to be completely messy and confusing. There wasn’t much in regards to orienting the reader with the land, or longer descriptions about the Meduans, the Lanserim and the other races. The politics between these countries was also left to the imagination.Basically, this book is in need of further polishing as quite a few sections were convoluted. I had to reread many sections to fully understand what was occurring simply because sentences were too long or descriptions were confusing. An example of a description I questioned is: “Uzziel waved the club so lustily that he drooled.”Furthermore, the opening chapter simply does not work. It will either turn readers away or leave them confused. Upon reading, it felt like walking into the middle of Game of Thrones season 2 and being expected to know the politics, relationships and issues within the world. Also, it is marketed to young adults, yet some sections feel like they were closer to New Adult, whereas other parts catered to more Middle Grade. It was all over the place and I found it difficult to pinpoint the audience.Overall, Wings Unseen has an interesting story that would benefit from more descriptions about the world itself and polishing of the text so it’s more comprehensive for the reader. Farrell has created some really cool characters and I would love to see them fleshed out more and given longer sections for us as readers to settle in. The use of magic and religion was also fascinating and it would be great to see this with some more explanation or context.
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  • Krutula
    January 1, 1970
    Reading that blurb, I was very interested in this book. A multi-POV fantasy novel set in a different world with a unique belief system and an ancient prophecy that involves the protagonists - that is a concept I am fond of. But you know why I gave this book 2 stars? Because it disappointed me in all the points that I judge fantasy books on. It took me 10 days(!) to finish this 320 page book, which I felt was a lie because this felt like reading 600+ pages to me. I kid you not, I checked TWICE to Reading that blurb, I was very interested in this book. A multi-POV fantasy novel set in a different world with a unique belief system and an ancient prophecy that involves the protagonists - that is a concept I am fond of. But you know why I gave this book 2 stars? Because it disappointed me in all the points that I judge fantasy books on. It took me 10 days(!) to finish this 320 page book, which I felt was a lie because this felt like reading 600+ pages to me. I kid you not, I checked TWICE to confirm that it is indeed 320 pages (since I have an e-copy to read). Even 600 page novels haven't dragged on as much as this one has, and I hate it. Firstly, remember that unique fantasy world I was excited about? Well, I would have appreciated it a lot more if I knew what meant what. Within the first quarter of the novel itself, concepts, peoples and characters are dropped en masse, expecting the reader to know what they mean or who they are. And yes, I went to check whether it really was the first book of the series and I am not missing some important exposition somewhere. There is no glossary for the terms at the end, either! If you are going to introduce your own made-up words, at least give readers the courtesy of telling what they are through a glossary if not through the story. Basically, I was lost 50% of the time while reading this novel (the other 50% I was skimming through the text, but I'm getting to that soon)The characters are, in a word, boring. Farrell tries to make them more than one-dimensional, but that effort fizzles out pretty soon. Vesperi felt like she might have some interesting POV to read through, but in second half it is mostly berating herself for becoming soft and blaming the Lanserims. Janto and Serra are yawn-inducing - honestly, if I was Vesperi, I would have smoked them into ashes a few days in. And then the plot tries a love triangle with these three, never mind that there was never any development on either side. I mean, I see how it would make sense (as a reader ruminating on the possibilities of the direction of the plot) but there is no actual plot to support it. Time jumps everywhere, so one scene Serra is nearly attacking Vesperi and a few pages later, she is comforting her. Character development, RIP, because your ghost did all that stuff in lost off-page time.And as much as I crib about things missing from the book, I still don't understand how this managed to be so long. It is a conundrum. I can't distinctly remember what exactly made it so long, besides a vague recollection of some rite of passage, a bizarre initiation, some half-hearted backstory, and a ridiculous plan to take down a kingdom. The writing was also - uh, weird, is all I can say; when I try to visualize the scenes (as I often do), it became difficult to do so. The scenes were choppy, with no flow and the ending left me confused - WHAT ABOUT THE CLAREN? (I almost swore at this point) By the time the epilogue rolled around, I was like - what the heck, just end this book! Not picking up the sequel, because one confusing book was enough for me. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Meerkat Press, via Netgalley.
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  • Eloise Hamann
    January 1, 1970
    This well written novel contains rich description and an intricately invented world in a well-constructed plot. The world is comprised of two distinct cultures, Lanserim and Medua, which separated from each other in a civil war years ago. A prophesy that they will be reunited in a struggle against an unknown evil brings together three protagonists, two from the more humanistic Lanserim and one from the dysfunctional Medua. Two are women with special powers, and the other a Lanserim prince, heir This well written novel contains rich description and an intricately invented world in a well-constructed plot. The world is comprised of two distinct cultures, Lanserim and Medua, which separated from each other in a civil war years ago. A prophesy that they will be reunited in a struggle against an unknown evil brings together three protagonists, two from the more humanistic Lanserim and one from the dysfunctional Medua. Two are women with special powers, and the other a Lanserim prince, heir to the throne. Both cultures have strong religious groups similar to societies of monks but appropriate for a fantasy novel.The world the author created feels real, far away, and long ago. The Lanserim prince, Janto undergoes a coming of age physical and mental training with a leader who beguiles his charges with his magic. He is a good young man who aspires to live up to his father’s ability to rule. At the same time Janto’s betrothed, Serra, less than willing goes along with training by the Brothers who are determined she help fulfill the prophecy. The reader can well identify with her resistance and puzzlement regarding their designs on her and her struggle with the decision to accept the Brothers’ claim of her destiny. In the end it seems a snap decision made without warning. In fact, I thought she’d been kidnapped.Vesperi is Medua and deliciously detestable. She eschews good manners and kindness, expecting a real man to treat her roughly. She believes she’s worthy of ruling, but she has a brother born with physical and mental disabilities her father thinks should take the throne. I am surprised Vesperi didn’t arrange for him to meet with an accident as she is capable of cold-blooded killing and detests caring for her brother. She views Lanserim people as fools initially but grows to appreciate their kindness as she works with them to fulfill the prophecy, but not quite enough to become likable.I don’t see this novel as YA and not because it has sexual references. Vesperi and the men training with Janto make crude comments. I don’t know what limitations are on this genre, but it seems naïve to think young adults haven’t heard or can’t handle sexual references. The reading is not easy as much rich description is folded into an action sentence making it long and harder to parse. Further, there are many invented names for plants, animals, titles for various roles, territories, and sub societies. It is always clear what category a word pertains to. A reader doesn’t need to know what a snevin looks like or eats if it’s on the menu or bites your leg, but deducing the categories slows down the read. It is YA in the sense that the young adult is more likely to be partial to magic and fantasy or at least that is my guess.I found myself warming to the book as I read. Serra was the most complex character and my favorite. Janto was a traditional battler for justice. Vesperi was interesting if not likable. The different threads of the book came together for a satisfying ending.
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